Lifestyle

Girl Power: the all female collectives shaking up the workplace



When Frances Morris was appointed director of the Tate Modern in 2016 she said of her industry: “It’s still a boys’ club, no question in my mind”.

The following year another woman, Maria Balshaw, was appointed director of the Tate galleries across the UK.

Today is International Women’s day and we are making progress, the winds of change are blowing, just not quickly enough. The Guardian reported this week that 50 per cent of UK companies have narrowed their gender pay gap. That’s a lot in one year, sure, but it’s still only half.

The conglomerates and Government may be taking shuffling steps towards reform and parity, but women in the UK, bolstered by social media and an influx of positive role models don’t have time to wait around. 

All over the UK women are taking agency of their careers and creating female only spaces to develop ideas, network and run businesses away from the gaze of a male dominated blue collar world. Female collectives are on the rise, founded on the premise that women can raise each other up to reach their full creative potential and circumnavigate any insecurities that could be fostered in a mixed gender workplace.  

Here are fiveof the best all-female communities making waves across the media, art and fashion worlds.

Babyface

Creative agency and community founded by Nellie Eden and Claire Burman in 2014.

Starting out as a platform for women to talk about their careers, they have since segued into a creative agency and consultancy but incubating female creatives is still their main priority. They produce everything from editorial to branded zines, exercise classes, look books, campaigns, video content, panel discussions and a regular podcast on NTS Radio. The Babyface community includes singer Jorja Smith, Galdem founder Liv Little and journalist Vicky Spratt.

Babyface

Foundation FM

Female-led radio station founded by Becky Richardson, Ami Bennett and Frankie Wells.

The Peckham based radio station launched in November, their mission is to showcase the best emerging talent in the underground music scene. The station is led by a diverse group of women and members of the LGBTQI+ community with women always on the forefront of their agenda. They’re also seeking to shake up the traditional radio format, starting their breakfast show at 10am, although that could also be a tactical ploy to circumvent any 5am hangovers. Smart move.

Listen to foundation.fm live here

Marguerite

A members club for women working in the visual arts founded by Joanna Payne

Named after the doyenne of 20th century art Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim, Marguerite is a network of talented women working in the arts, all with a strong desire to support each other in their climb to the top. They host events throughout the year for like-minded gals in the art world to mingle, share ideas and progress their careers. Membership includes some rather nice perks including trips to the Venice Biennale and tea with Julia Peyton-Jones.  

Become a member for £30 a month here

BBZ

An inclusive club night and curatorial experience for queer people of colour founded by photographer Nadine Davis and filmaker Tia Simon-Campbell.

These two are making waves across the London club scene. They’re reshaping what a queer night looks like, its a party and a movement and an art exhibition all rolled into one. Inspired by the south London creative scene their nights are never the same. They have worked on myriad events from setting up a queer Ghost inspired pottery class to collaborating with iconic south London chicken shop Morleys.

Follow them on Instagram to find out about their next event

Women in Fashion

A feminist non-profit organisation run by Daisy Walker and Bella Gladman in 2015 to provoke conversation and positive change in the fashion industry.

Tackling issues such as diversity, representation of gender, age discrimination and sexism their aim is to create a space to discuss and ultimately change the negative aspects of the industry they love. They host talks and events every few weeks, where speakers discuss myriad subjects such as the relationship between activists and brands they have also organised a life drawing class to explore the female nude for  international women’s day.

Get tickets to the next event here





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